Trio of Peru State football players earn academic honors

PERU – The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the members of the 2019 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. An all-time high of 1,643 players from a record 424 schools qualified for membership in the Society’s 13th year.

“We are pleased to see another record number of athletes honored by the Hampshire Honor Society this year,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “For more than a decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives.”

Three Peru State senior football players were among the record number to be recognized. Colton Audsley (Prescott Valley, Ariz.), Dan Boshart (Wood River), and Dylan King (Vancouver, Wash.) were the Bobcat representatives for 2019. They join several other student-athletes from the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart), as well as, the Great Plains Athletic Conference honored.

Audsley is a criminal justice-administration major with a psychology minor. Boshart is a social science teaching major while King is a kinesiology major.

Both Audsley and Boshart were Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes in the fall. For Boshart, it was his second-straight year earning the recognition.

On the playing field, Audsley earned second team Heart honors as a running back, kick returner, and as an athlete. Boshart earned honorable mention recognition.

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete program by greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year. The program further strengthens the organization’s leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes at the 778 colleges and universities with football programs nationwide.

The 1,643 players honored in 2019 sets a new high water mark, eclipsing the previous record of 1,274 honorees in 2018. The 424 schools represented breaks the previous mark of 308 set in 2018.

The initiative has now honored 10,660 student-athletes since its inception, and the program has experienced growth every year in either members or school participation since its launch in 2007.

Twenty-two schools had at least 10 honorees in 2019, including Amherst (MA), Brown, Carroll (WI), Central (IA), Dayton, Drake, Harvard, Johns Hopkins (MD), Macalester (MN), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Wesleyan, Ohio Northern, Pacific Lutheran (WA), Pomona-Pitzer (CA), Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), Saint John’s (MN), Springfield (MA), Washington Univ. in St. Louis (MO), Western New England (MA) and Westfield State (MA).

Division III’s Saint John’s (MN) led all schools in 2019 with 20 honorees. Brigham Young and Vanderbilt led all FBS schools with seven members each while Harvard topped the FCS with 16 honorees. Minnesota Duluth was the Division II leader with 10 members and Doane (NE) had the most honorees in the NAIA with nine.

Jon F. Hanson, the chairman and founder of The Hampshire Companies, provided the endowment to launch the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in 2007. He made the contribution as part of his legacy to the organization after serving as NFF Chairman from 1994-2006. He currently serves the organization as chairman emeritus. Each player awarded with membership in this year’s Honor Society will receive a certificate commemorating his or her achievement.

“It was my great privilege to endow the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which has greatly increased the number of college student-athletes the NFF has been able to recognize during the past 13 years,” said Hanson. “Nationwide there are thousands of football players excelling in the classroom, and they are going on to become great leaders. The NFF Hampshire Honor Society continues to grow and allows us to shine a light on their hard work.”

“We have honored more than 10,000 student-athletes in the last 13 years thanks to Jon Hanson’s generosity,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are grateful for his passionate belief in the scholar-athlete ideal, and the Hampshire Honor Society allows us to showcase the names of tomorrow’s leaders while inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.”

Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have:

  • Completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2018;
    • Graduated players, who have remaining eligibility but will not return to collegiate play (e.g. declared for NFL Draft or retired from football), may also be nominated.
  • Achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study;
  • Met all NCAA- or NAIA-mandated progress toward degree requirements; and
  • Been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2018 season.

Twenty-nine colleges and universities have had at least one player in all 13 years of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society (2007-19), including Brigham Young, Brown, Bucknell, Colorado, Columbia, Dayton, Huntingdon (AL), Iowa, Johns Hopkins (MD), Kentucky, Lafayette, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Montana, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Penn State, Redlands (CA), Saint John’s (MN), SMU, South Dakota State, Wartburg (IA), Washington Univ. in St. Louis (MO), Wayne State (MI), West Virginia, Wingate (NC), Yale and Youngstown State.

The Hampshire Honor Society represents an important component in the organization’s rich history as an innovator in promoting the scholar-athlete ideal, which began in 1959 with the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards. Launched with a donation from Hall of Fame coach Earl “Red” Blaik, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards became the first initiative in history to grant postgraduate scholarships based on a player’s combined academic success, football performance and community leadership. Since its inception, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards program has awarded $11.5 million to 854 top scholars and community leaders.

Selected in the fall, each recipient of an NFF National Scholar-Athlete Award receives an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. Additionally, The William V. Campbell Trophy® is given to one member of each year’s class as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation. The winner of the Campbell Trophy® receives a total scholarship of $25,000 and a 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy. Through its chapter network, the NFF also awards an additional $1 million to local high school student-athletes, bringing the NFF’s annual scholarship distribution total to more than $1.3 million.

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